A Question of Effort…

On House last night, there was a patient who was diagnosed with ALS by a doctor (“Marty Hamilton”) from another hospital. Dr. Gregory House was not convinced of this, and didn’t rest until he figured out the problem. He made a comment during the show that really stuck with me. He was speaking to one of his team, referring to Marty as the type of guy who just fixes a problem and then hopes that everything turns out, rather than taking an active role in things.

House uses a lot of trial and error to attempt to fix problems (the human body remains one of the greatest mysteries in existence). Hamilton, on the other hand uses a defined approach to eliminate standard ailments and then leaves it at that. What is worse, the man who knows he may be wrong, or the man who thinks he’s right?

An excellent episode, to be sure.

I suppose what got my mind going on this subject was the fact that I see these two types of approaches to life from many people that I know.

For example, there are lots of people at work content to come in and do their job, and leave. Sometimes this is good. Most times, I find it to be bad. A lot of these people just do enough to get by. It’s like those people in school that always seem to do okay in school until they reach a level where they have to think. Not to mention that in a work situation there are usually other people affected by the decisions of this person, no matter how low in the food chain they may be. I, myself, look at work as a way to pay for things that I like to do outside of work. This, though, does not mean that I don’t care about what it is that I do. On the contrary, I think that sometimes I might take it a little too personally. And it isn’t because it is a matter of pride. It is my belief that it should be right in the grand scheme of things. I don’t really care who is right. So long as the outcome of the experience is positive.

I notice the same kind of thing in Martial Arts. It was one of the reasons why I left Taekwondo. I find that a lot of schools are really about money, and not about the art anymore. If you pay your monetary dues, you will eventually be a black belt. This just cheapens the meaning of the rank for me. I see it all the time, actually, in many martial arts. I see people who just coast, and then don’t know why they never get better. Or what’s even worse are the people who scrape by, but think that they are incredible. Not such a good thing, in my opinion.

I’ve always tried to do things so that I learn. Granted, we all have times where we slack, and I am definitely no exception. For the most part, though, I would like to think that there is meaning in the things that I do.